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  • Warning: Spoilers
    This film (which was a pilot for a CBS TV series) never aired. It seems to run slowly and doesn't seem to go anywhere but it had numerous rewrites (19) and had a book written about how it was written called "only you,dick darling!" by Merle Miller. It had great interest to me as it was filmed in and around Mesilla New Mexico and briefly New Mexico State University. The pilot concerns a county agent named Calhoun and how he works with locals about a disease harming the local orange crop. It has a good cast including Barbara Stanwyck,Jackie Cooper,Ken Berry,Barbara Luna,Robert Lansing,Beverly Garland and Howard Duff.
  • "Calhoun: County Agent" is a very strange idea for a series...and I can see why it was never approved by the networks. It's not that the show was bad...but the idea of the adventures of a county agent sure seem awfully limited!! Plus, when I think of the adventures of a county agent, I cannot help but think of Hank Kimble on "Green Acres"!

    The show features the agent (Jackie Cooper) working on an important case. It seems that a blight might be affecting some local trees and many of the locals are calling for the orchard to be burned to protect all the trees in the vicinity. But the agent is hesitant to do this until he has all the evidence and it's obvious he's looking out for the little guy. At the same time, his wife (Barbara Stanwyck) is contemplating leaving him...though this plot seemed completely unnecessary or could have constituted future episodes...had the series been green lit.

    The acting is decent, the cast impressive but the basic idea so limiting it boggles my mind that they even considered making this show in the first place. It would have made a decent made for TV film...but not a regular show.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A passionate but overly ambitious drama, this appears to be a precursor to "Falcon Crest", substituting orange groves for grape vineyards. Instead of ruthless wine barons, this focuses on neighboring farmers, struggling with their daily lives, and now facing the possibility of a blithe that could spread throughout the valley. Jackie Cooper plays a long time resident whose vineyard is stricken and must warn his neighbors, sending the valley into a panic. Barbara Stanwyck plays a sophisticated newcomer involved with Cooper whose estranged husband (Howard Duff) shows up to report about the tainted trees. A bunch of minor subplots are set up, but none are really interesting. I really couldn't have seen this as a series, but it's nice to see Stanwyck in one of her rare TV appearances, a different type of big valley. Beverly Garland and BarBara Luna play supporting parts but are overshadowed by the main plot. Apparently, this never even aired, so it's a nice discovery to add to my nearly complete Barbara Stanwyck collection.